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2007 Best Books for Young Adults

Fiction

Almond, David. Clay. Random House/Delacorte, 2006. $15.95. (0-385-73171-X).  In a novel steeped in religious symbolism, strange new kid Stephen convinces Davie to create a giant golem who will obey his command to kill the local bully.

Anderson, M.T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party. 2006. Candlewick, $17.99. (ISBN-10, 0-7636-2402-0; ISBN-13, 9780763624026).  He was raised as an experiment and considered a piece of property. Now that revolution has come to America, will Octavian find freedom?

Bondoux, Anne-Laure. The Killer's Tears. Tr. By Y. Maudet. 2006. Random House/Delacorte, $15.95. (ISBN-10, 0-385-73293-7; ISBN-13, 9780385732932).  When murderer Angel Allegria kills young Paolo's parents, the killer and the orphan embark together on a journey of rebirth and redemption.

Booth, Coe. Tyrell. 2006. Scholastic/PUSH, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-439-83879-7; ISBN-13, 9780439838795).  Homeless teen Tyrell resists the pressures of the streets to keep his family together and maintain a relationship with "good girl" Novisha.

Brooks, Kevin. The Road of the Dead. 2006. Scholastic/Chicken House, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-493-78623-1; ISBN-13, 9780493786232).  Cole and his psychic brother Ruben journey to the ghostly moors of Dartmoor to discover the truth behind their sister's brutal murder.

Budhos, Marina. Ask Me No Questions. 2006. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum/Ginee Seo, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-4169-0351-8; ISBN-13, 9781416903512).  When their father is detained by U.S. Immigration, Nadira and Aisha must maintain an illusion of normality while they fight for his release.

Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. 2006. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-375-83531-8; ISBN-13, 9780375835315).  When Nick asks a total stranger in a New York punk club to be his girlfriend for five minutes, a chaotic night of music and romance ensues.

Cornish, D.M. Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling. 2006. illus. Penguin Group USA/Putnam, $19.99. (ISBN-10, 0-399-24638-X; ISBN-13, 9780399246388).  An orphan, sent to become a lamplighter in distant High Vesting, encounters fantastical creatures as he aids a beautiful monster slayer.

Dessen, Sarah. Just Listen. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Viking, $17.99. (ISBN-10, 0-370-06105-0; ISBN-13, 9780670061051).  Being nice, never complaining, and avoiding conflict no longer work for Annabel Green. Can she listen to her own voice and speak up?

Eldred, Tim. Grease Monkey: A Tale of Growing Up in Orbit. 2006. illus. Tom Doherty/Tor, $27.95. (ISBN-10, 0-7653-1325-1; ISBN-13, 9780765313256).  In this hilarious graphic novel, a teen spaceship mechanic learns to adjust to his crotchety new boss—who happens to be a gorilla.

Firebirds Rising: An Anthology of Original Science Fiction and Fantasy. Ed. Sharyn November. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Firebird, $19.99. (ISBN-10, 0-14-240549-3; ISBN-13, 9780142405499).  Teens from different worlds and times populate these 16 short stories, which are as wildly inventive as they are relevant.

Fletcher, Susan. Alphabet of Dreams. 2006. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum/Ginee Seo, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-689-85042-5; ISBN-13, 9780689850424).  Mitra sells her brother's ability to dream the future, leading them to Melchior, one of the three magi, as he seeks the birth of the king foretold in the stars.

Frost, Helen. The Braid. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16. (ISBN-10, 0-374-30962-0; ISBN-13, 9780374309626).  In tightly structured, braided poems, two sisters tell of their difficult separation when one leaves Scotland for a better life in Canada in the mid-1800s.

Gantos, Jack. The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17. (ISBN-10, 0-374-33690-3; ISBN-13, 9780374336905).  Loving your mother is a blessing; loving her so much you feel the need to perform taxidermy on her is a curse.

Giles, Gail. What Happened to Cass McBride?. 2006. Little, Brown, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-316-16638-3; ISBN-13, 9780316166386).  In this taut, psychologically rich thriller, Cass McBride and her tormentor, who has buried her alive, form a unique and surprising bond.

Glass, Linzi Alex. The Year the Gypsies Came. 2006. Henry Holt, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8050-7999-8; ISBN-13, 9780805079999).  Against the backdrop of anti-apartheid riots, a family of wanderers brings tragedy to a South African teen in this shattering story about lost innocence.

Going, K.L. Saint Iggy. 2006. Harcourt, $17. (ISBN-10, 0-15-205795-1; ISBN-13, 9780152059754).  Meth-damaged Iggy Corso faces many obstacles, including his expulsion from school, but he still yearns to make a difference.

Gratz, Alan. Samurai Shortstop. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Dial, $17.99. (ISBN-10, 0-8037-3075-6; ISBN-13, 9780803730755).  In 1890 Tokyo, 16-year-old Toyo uses traditional bushido training to improve his baseball game and comes to understand the place of Samurai values in Japanese culture.

Green, John. An Abundance of Katherines. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Dutton, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-525-47688-1; ISBN-13, 9780525476887).  After the nineteenth girl named Katherine breaks his heart, Colin and his friend Hassan hit the road. Can a mathematical formula help a former child prodigy find the new love of his life?

Hartnett, Sonya. Surrender. 2006. Candlewick, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-7636-2768-2; ISBN-13, 9780763627683).  As 20-year-old Gabriel lies dying, he remembers his miserable childhood and the influence of his mysterious companion, Finnigan.

Hoffman, Alice. Incantation. 2006. Little, Brown, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-316-01019-7; ISBN-13, 9780316010191).  Secrets are dangerous during the Spanish Inquisition—especially if you are secretly Jewish.

Jansen, Hanna. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You. Tr. by Elizabeth D. Crawford. 2006. Lerner/Carolrhoda, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-57505-927-4; ISBN-13, 9781575059273).  Based on the experiences of the author's adopted daughter, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, this story provides a heart-wrenching perspective on the horrors of a modern holocaust.

Jaramillo, Ann. La Linea. 2006. Roaring Brook/Deborah Brodie, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59643-154-7; ISBN-13, 9781596431546).  Mexican teen Miguel crosses la línea to join his parents in the United States, but the journey is full of danger and hardship.

Johnson, Harriet McBryde. Accidents of Nature. 2006. Henry Holt, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8050-7634-4; ISBN-13, 9780805076349).  Jean has lived her life as the poster child for cerebral palsy until she meets Sara at a summer camp for teens with disabilities, where she becomes aware of the politics of the differently abled community.

Johnson, Maureen. Devilish. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Razorbill, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 1-59514-060-3; ISBN-13, 9781595140609).  Jane, the smartest girl at St. Teresa’s Preparatory School for Girls, has a fight on her hands when a cupcake-eating demon buys the soul of her best friend.

Knox, Elizabeth. Dreamhunter: Book One of the Dreamhunter Duet. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Frances Foster, $19. (ISBN-10, 0-374-31853-0; ISBN-13, 9780374318536).  In a world where dreams can be harvested, 16-year-old Laura uses her dream-catching ability to expose intrigue and government corruption.

Koss, Amy Goldman. Side Effects. 2006. Roaring Brook/Deborah Brodie, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59643-167-9; ISBN-13, 9781596431676).  Fourteen-year-old Izzy's life changes when she is diagnosed with lymphoma.

Krech, Bob. Rebound. 2006. Marshall Cavendish, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-7614-5319-9; ISBN-13, 9780761453192).  Most Polish guys go out for wrestling, but basketball is in Ray’s blood. He knows his game, but can he make the squad?

Lanagan, Margo. White Time. 2006. HarperCollins/EOS, $15.99. (ISBN-10, 0-06-074393-X; ISBN-13, 9780060743932).  From a tale about a horny ant to one about a time travel internship, these ten mind-stretching stories are as bizarre as they are touching.

Lansens, Lori. The Girls. 2006. Little, Brown, $23.95. (ISBN-10, 0-316-06903-5; ISBN-13, 9780316069058).  Ruby and Rose, conjoined twins, each reveal the secrets, struggles, and dreams of their remarkable lives.

Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky. 2006. Random House/Delacorte, $15.95. (ISBN-10, 0-385-73313-5; ISBN-13, 9780385733137).  In 1918, 16-year-old Hattie Brooks runs a 400-acre Montana farm, faces threats from wolves, and fights prejudice and loneliness.

Lat. Kampung Boy. 2006. illus. Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59643-121-0; ISBN-13, 9781596431218).  Mat’s Malaysian village comes alive in this graphic novel, showing a picture of life in a 1950s Muslim kampung. Western influences, however, threaten his familiar world.

Lisle, Janet Taylor. Black Duck. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Philomel/Sleuth, $15.99. (ISBN-10, 0-399-23963-4; ISBN-13, 9780399239632).  While researching a newspaper article about a mysterious 1929 event, 14-year-old David uncovers secrets surrounding the deaths of three bootleggers on the rum-running vessel The Black Duck.

Lynch, Scott. The Lies of Locke Lamora. 2006. Bantam Dell/Spectra, $23. (ISBN-10, 0-553-80467-7; ISBN-13, 9780553804676).  In this fantasy caper, professional thief Locke Lamora has long preyed on the nobles of Camorr; now, someone unexpected is preying on him.

McCormick, Patricia. Sold. 2006. Hyperion, $15.99. (ISBN-10, 0-7868-5171-6; ISBN-13, 9780786851713).  In this startling, frank novel in free verse, a 13-year-old Nepalese girl is sold into prostitution by her stepfather after a monsoon leaves her family destitute.

Miller, Kirsten. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City. 2006. Bloomsbury, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-58234-960-6; ISBN-13, 9781582349602).  Beneath the streets of New York, menacing gangsters, killer princesses, and Girl Scouts gone bad embark upon a wild adventure.

Mitchell, David. Black Swan Green. 2006. Random House, $23.95. (ISBN-10, 1-4000-6379-5; ISBN-13, 9781400063796).  In this darkly humorous novel, Jason’s stammering terrorizes him, making silence preferable to humiliation.

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Dairy Queen. 2006. Houghton Mifflin, $16. (ISBN-10, 0-618-68307-0; ISBN-13, 9780618683079).  Running her family’s dairy farm and fulfilling others’ expectations makes D.J. feel like a cow, until she finds herself training the rival school’s quarterback.

Murphy, Sean. Off Road. November 2005. illus. Oni Press, $11.95. (ISBN-10, 1-932644-30-0; ISBN-13, 9781932644300).  While off-roading, three self-described tough guys get stuck midstream in this hilarious graphic novel.

Myers, Walter Dean. Street Love. 2006. HarperCollins/Amistad/HarperTempest, $15. (ISBN-10, 0-06-028079-4; ISBN-13, 9780060280796).  College-bound basketball star Damien, whose story is told in spoken word rhythms, defies the expectations of his family and friends when he falls hard for troubled Junice.

Na, An. Wait for Me. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Putnam, $15.99. (ISBN-10, 0-399-24275-9; ISBN-13, 9780399242755).  Mina lies about grades to fulfill the expectations of her Korean mother. She lies about boys and sex. Eventually, she lies so much she has trouble remembering who she is.

Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life as We Knew It. 2006. Harcourt, $17. (ISBN-10, 0-15-205826-5; ISBN-13, 9780152058265).  In her journal, 16-year-old Miranda records the catastrophes that occur after a meteor strikes the moon and alters its course, causing tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and escalating chaos.

Pierce, Tamora. Terrier. 2006. Random House, $18.95. (ISBN-10, 0-375-81468-X; ISBN-13, 9780375814686).  Raised in the slums, trained to the lawkeeping force, and armed with the ability to hear the voices of the dead, Beka Cooper is determined to save the people of the Lower City.

Portman, Frank. King Dork. 2006. Random House/Delacorte, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-385-73291-0; ISBN-13, 97803857324918).  While creating outrageous album covers and trying to name his band, 14-year-old Tom grapples with his father’s death.

Pratchett, Terry. Wintersmith. 2006. HarperCollins/HarperTempest, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-06-089031-2; ISBN-13, 9780060890315).  Waily, waily, waily! In this Discworld novel, witch-in-training Tiffany Aching accidentally attracts the attention of the Wintersmith, imperiling her family and requiring the expertise of the Wee Free Men.

Price, Charlie. Dead Connection. 2006. Roaring Brook, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59643-114-8; ISBN-13, 9781596431140).  Murray enjoys listening to the voices of the dead—until a missing cheerleader begs him to help solve the mystery of her death.

Reinhardt, Dana. A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life. 2006. Random House/Wendy Lamb, $15.95. (ISBN-10, 0-385-74698-9; ISBN-13, 9780385909404).  Encouraged by her supportive adoptive family, Simone reaches out to her birth mother and finds unexpected blessings—including a new appreciation for her Jewish heritage.

Rosoff, Meg. Just in Case. 2006. Random House/Wendy Lamb, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-385-74678-4; ISBN-13, 9780385746786).  After David rescues his baby brother from a near-tragic occurrence, the 15-year-old struggles to reinvent himself and change his destiny.

Sayres, Meghan Nuttall. Anahita's Woven Riddle. 2006. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8109-5481-8; ISBN-13, 9780810954816).  In early twentieth century Iran, a headstrong girl convinces her father that she will marry the suitor who can guess the riddle woven into her wedding carpet.

Sedgwick, Marcus. The Foreshadowing. 2006. Random House/Wendy Lamb, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-385-74646-6; ISBN-13, 9780385746465).  During World War I, Sasha poses as a nurse and travels to France to save her brother from the fate she has foreseen for him.

Selvadurai, Shyam. Swimming in the Monsoon Sea. September 2005. Tundra, $18.95. (ISBN-10, 0-88776-735-4; ISBN-13, 9780887767357).  Against the backdrop of a sultry Sri Lankan summer, 14-year-old Amrith makes discoveries about both his family's past and his own sexuality when his Canadian cousin visits.

Smelcer, John. The Trap. 2006. Henry Holt, $15.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8050-7939-4; ISBN-13, 9780805079395).  In the Alaskan wilderness, Grandfather Albert attempts to escape one of his own steel-jawed traps; back in their village, Johnny worries about his grandfather's safety while pondering his own future.

Stahler, David, Jr. Doppelganger. 2006. HarperCollins/Eos, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-06-087232-2; ISBN-13, 9780060872328).  After murdering a popular athlete and possessing his body, a shape-shifting killer becomes embroiled in his victim's troubled life.

Stassen, Jean-Philippe. Deogratias, a Tale of Rwanda. 2006. illus. Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59643-103-2; ISBN-13, 9781596431034).  Deogratias, a Hutu boy, desperately clings to his humanity and his love for Benina, a Tutsi girl, in this unsettling graphic novel depicting the Rwandan genocide.

Sturtevant, Katherine. A True and Faithful Narrative. 2006. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17. (ISBN-10, 0-374-37809-6; ISBN-13, 9780374378097).  In seventeenth century London, women don’t write—except for Meg, who disobeys her father to pen the story of a young merchant kidnapped by pirates and enslaved in Algiers.

Tharp, Tim. Knights of the Hill Country. 2006. Random House/Knopf, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-375-83653-5; ISBN-13, 9780375836534).  High school football star Hampton Green believes that his buddy Blaine started him toward a better future, but how far should he go out of loyalty to his friend?

Turner, Megan Whalen. The King of Attolia. 2006. HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-06-083577-X; ISBN-13, 9780060835774).  Eugenides must convince his new queen, his court, and his subjects of his ability to rule, despite his disreputable past as a liar and a thief.

Twice Told: Original Stories Inspired by Original Artwork. Illustrated by Scott Hunt. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Dutton, $19.99. (ISBN-10, 0-525-46818-8; ISBN-13, 9780525468189).  Pairs of authors respond to nine original drawings with strikingly divergent short stories.

Vaught, Susan. Trigger. 2006. Bloomsbury, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-58234-920-7; ISBN-13, 9781582349206).  After blowing a hole in his head with a gun and suffering severe brain damage, Jersey Hatch sets out to discover why he did it.

Vizzini, Ned. It's Kind of a Funny Story. 2006. Hyperion/Miramax, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-7868-5196-1; ISBN-13, 9780786851966).  Suicidal Craig, overwhelmed by academic pressures, ends up in the adult psych ward, where he encounters a hilarious cast of characters while moving toward recovery.

Volponi, Paul. Rooftop. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Viking, $15.99. (ISBN-10, 0-670-06069-0; ISBN-13, 9780670060696).  There are no easy answers for his family, or their African American community, after Clay witnesses the shooting of his cousin by a police officer.

Vrettos, Adrienne Maria. Skin. 2006. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-4169-0655-X; ISBN-13, 9781416906551).  After his sister starves herself to death, 14-year-old Donnie reflects upon her illness and its devastating effects on the family.

Werlin, Nancy. The Rules of Survival. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Dial, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-8037-3001-2; ISBN-13, 9780803730014).  When Matthew and his younger sisters witness a man confronting an abusive parent, they think they may have found a hero who will save them from their vicious mother.

Wittlinger, Ellen. Blind Faith. 2006. Simon & Schuster, $15.95. (ISBN-10, 1-4169-0273-2; ISBN-13, 9781416902737).  Liz’s grieving mother joins a spiritualist church despite objections from her atheist father. With the help of her friend Nathan, Liz, who feels trapped in the middle, finds her own path.

Wooding, Chris. Storm Thief. 2006. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-439-86513-1; ISBN-13, 9780439865135).  After stealing a powerful device, street thieves Rail and Moa flee their city’s ruthless leaders with the help of a strange creature.

Woodrell, Daniel. Winter's Bone: A Novel. 2006. Little, Brown, $22.99. (ISBN-10, 0-316-05755-X; ISBN-13, 9780316057554).  To save home and family, 17-year-old Ree sets out on a perilous search for her missing father in their isolated and dangerous Ozark mountain community.

Yang, Gene Luen and Pien, Lark. American Born Chinese. 2006. illus. Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59643-152-0; ISBN-13, 9780596431522).  Combining three different stories, one drawn from Chinese mythology, this graphic novel explores racism and self-hatred as a young boy struggles to come to terms with his heritage.

Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. 2006. illus. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-375-83100-2; ISBN-13, 9780375831003).  Death colors (and narrates) Liesel Meminger's attempt to survive Hitler in a small German town. Orphaned and devastated, Liesel finds salvation through stolen books.

Non-Fiction

Bausum, Ann. Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. 2006. illus. National Geographic, $18.95. (ISBN-10, 0-7922-4173-8; ISBN-13, 9780792241737).  Though Lewis and Zwerg were of different races, their lives became entwined as their activism helped end segregation.

Benanav, Michael. Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold. 2006. Globe Pequot/Lyons, $23.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59228-772-7; ISBN-13, 9781592287727).  On a 40-day odyssey through the Sahara on a camel caravan to the salt mines, an American journalist experiences the amazing resolve and fascinating traditions of a nearly extinct culture.

Engle, Margarita and Qualls, Sean. The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. 2006. illus. Henry Holt, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8050-7706-5; ISBN-13, 9780805077063).  This beautifully illustrated collection of linked poems explores the life of Juan, a brutally treated slave who nonetheless sees the world in unique and lyrical ways.

Fleischman, Sid. Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini. 2006. illus. HarperCollins/Greenwillow, $18.99. (ISBN-10, 0-06-085094-9; ISBN-13, 9780060850944).  A spellbinding biography of the amazing Harry Houdini written by a fellow magician.

Fradin, Judith Bloom and Dennis Brindell Fradin. 5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight From Slavery. 2006. illus. National Geographic, $19.95. (ISBN-10, 0-7922-7885-2; ISBN-13, 9780792278856).  In this true story, a couple goes to extraordinary lengths to escape slavery, eventually helping others by sharing their experiences.

Freedman, Russell. Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. 2006. illus. Holiday House, $18.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8034-2031-0; ISBN-13, 9780823420315).  Through photos and eyewitness acoounts, Freedman draws readers close to the dramatic 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and the ordinary people who participated.

Harper, Hill. Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny. 2006. Penguin Group USA/Gotham, $20. (ISBN-10, 1-59240-200-3; ISBN-13, 9781592402007).  Through family stories, life experiences, and the words of some celebrity friends, actor Hill Harper provides guidance to young men facing difficult decisions.

Hopkinson, Deborah. Up before Daybreak: Cotton and People in America. 2006. illus. Scholastic Nonfiction, $18.99. (ISBN-10, 0-439-63901-8; ISBN-13, 9780439639019).  Oral histories and archival photographs enrich the story of King Cotton, deepening readers’ understanding of the place of an iconic crop in American history.

Hubner, John. Last Chance in Texas: The Redemption of Criminal Youth. September 2005. Random House, $25.95. (ISBN-10, 0-375-50809-0; ISBN-13, 9780375508090).  This heart-rending but ultimately hopeful look at a Texas program for violent teen offenders offers an unblinking view of the juvenile justice system.

Jacobson, Sid and Colon, Ernie. The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. 2006. illus. Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Hill and Wang, $30. (ISBN-10, 0-8090-5738-7; ISBN-13, 9780809057382).  This concise graphic novel re-creation of the government’s official report conveys the horror of 9/11 and looks at how it happened.

McClafferty, Carla Killough. Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium. 2006. illus. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18. (ISBN-10, 0-374-38086-8; ISBN-13, 9780374380366).  Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, was also the first person to win it twice. This biography explores Curie’s achievements in an era when women scientists struggled for recognition.

Noyes, Deborah. One Kingdom: Our Lives with Animals. 2006. illus. Houghton Mifflin, $18. (ISBN-10, 0-618-49914-8; ISBN-13, 9780618499144).  Seamlessly incorporating the scientific process, this pictorial exploration of the human-animal bond blends myth and history while raising provocative questions.

Robertson, James I., Jr. Robert E. Lee: Virginian Soldier, American Citizen. November 2005. illus. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $21.95. (ISBN-10, 0-689-85731-4; ISBN-13, 9780689857617).  Dashing Robert E. Lee was Lincoln's choice to lead the Union, but Lee's devotion to Virginia changed the course of U.S. history. This fascinating biography explores a remarkable life.

Thimmesh, Catherine. Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon. 2006. illus. Houghton Mifflin, $19.95. (ISBN-10, 0-618-50757-4; ISBN-13, 9780618507573).  Suspenseful and packed with little-known facts, this exploration of the Apollo 11 mission captures the dedication of the people behind the scenes.